Tag Archives: habits

A NEW HEALTHY LIFESTYLE – NUTRITION

Just because we have a certain age in years, doesn’t necessary mean that we have the same age physically. Some people can carry 10-20 years more in their bodies than their actual age. It depends on a lot of factors; nutrition, habits, sleep, stress-levels, exercise and thought-patterns. I think this is not understood by most people and that if we knew, we would pay so much more attention to our health and well-being. This age-pattern can be tested and analyzed when necessary, showing black-on-white how body is doing inside.

We are not always very careful about our physical health and sometimes it’s shocking to see what people do to themselves; Obesity and stress are 2 major factors in accelerated body-age and both these groups are growing fast. In these days of pollution (all kinds – including “bad” foods) we need to inform ourselves how to live healthy and take necessary measures. It will not happen by itself, every person is responsible for his/her health and needs to do the job. It is never easy to change lifestyle, especially when food has become your drug, but it can be done and within a week you will feel the benefits; more energy, stronger, healthier and happier.

You might think; “Nah, I don’t have time, money, energy….(fill in the blank) to do this”. Trust me, the day your health is endangered by your bad life-style and you are facing disease or worse you will find that you are prepared to do almost anything to reverse your condition – no matter the cost, time and energy. Better then to do it straight away and save yourself the anguish which disease brings – especially when you brought it on yourself!

  • Nutrition: Basically the most important factor. Food can act as a catalyst to our health or it can become a drug that pollutes the body. It’s all about choices. I have come to realize that not everyone is aware of what they are putting into their bodies so learning and understanding is needed. I have found that the best way to understanding is doing. Start with an elimination diet for one month to clear and heal your body. From there you can, little by little, re-introduce different foodstuffs and really feel what they do to you. Allergies or over sensitivity to foods are not always obvious and you might find you are sensitive to certain things once your system is cleared and you can feel what happens in your body; bloating, gas, pain, indigestion. You can download an excellent, free, elimination program here that I have used both for myself and clients with great results. Use it for a month and see what happens. It might be a good idea to keep a diary so you can stay aware of the changes and reactions. The Elimination Diet program also tells you how to prepare yourself. Eating healthy is not more expensive than eating unhealthy – on the contrary; you will find yourself saving a lot of money when you change your eating-habits. You will also, more or less automatically, lose weight and then you can use that money to buy funky clothing for your new and beautiful body 🙂
  • Abuse: (or addiction) This can be anything from certain foods, sugars, coffee, alcohol, fats, tobacco, aspirin (yes, aspirin) and drugs. This all needs to go. Once you start your elimination diet you will, after an initial withdrawal reaction, feel less and less need for the stuff. Addictive behavior is always emotional and the more you have “screwed up” your system, the more you feel the need of your “drug”. The body – and mind – goes out of whack.
  • Withdrawal: I address this because I have found that many people give up because of withdrawal symptoms, often believing something is wrong. You will have to go cold turkey if your lifestyle has been bad. Every addiction creates a huge imbalance in the body, keeping it craving for more. Withdrawal symptoms can be head-aches, nervousness, irritability, emotional yo-yo, and even aches and pains. They usually last around 3 days, by then the body has (under the right circumstances) cleared itself and you should start feeling very good. The natural high you get from a healthy body is amazing! This might be a good time to go for massage or sauna which will help the detox move faster and more efficiently.
  • Water: Water is life and makes up ca 70% of our bodies. Water is the most important nutrient to our bodies and is involved in every bodily function. We need to drink between 1.5 – 3 liters/day.  Don’t drink massive amounts in one go, drink steadily through the day. During the detox stage this is most important since your body will start getting rid of toxins and the water helps flush them out. Think of it as an internal shower. Most people today are dehydrated and with bad eating habits this gets even worse: Sugar, for example, is extremely dehydrating, so each time you drink a soda you are actually dehydrating your body instead of hydrating it! If you want to know more about what water does in your body read this article. (I highly recommend you to read it.) Get a filtration system and use it for your tap-water. Not only will it save money but it is also sustainable; no more PET-bottles littering the globe! Tap-water goes through more control processes than any bottled water (which sometimes is just….tap water in a PET-bottle)
  • Stress: Stress puts an enormous pressure on our body-systems. Not only does it overload but it also increases fat-deposits in the body. When you are stressed, the digestive system closes down and stops working properly which means that instead of using fat for fuel, the body starts breaking down and using muscle tissue. So along with getting fatter, you get weaker as well.
  • Fat-cells: We have a given number of fat-cells in our bodies and they stay constant, so when there is weight-gain the cells actually get larger while the overall number stays the same. The fat-cells are an important part of our health and liposuction is not an option for weight-loss. Liposuction is a huge attack on our metabolism and can be very dangerous. We need all our fat-cells – and we want them lean and mean…
  • Accountability: This is IMPORTANT! Find somebody you trust that you are accountable to, a little like a coach. Tell this person about your plans to clean up your diet and ask them to back you up. It can also be a therapist or a coach. Write a contract with this person, keep a diary, connect with this person on a regular basis and be honest about what you are doing (also when you fall off the wagon) and how you are doing. When you feel yourself flagging, reconnect with your “coach” to get back on track. Another option is to go through this program with other people, staying accountable to each-other.
  • Habits: Habits are hard to break and when you start a dietary program you are always facing your habitual every-day-life. You need to make changes. If you have a family they will also have to change (clean up) their nutrition. Don’t fall for the habits; pizza and beer with the friends, Friday cosiness with the family. You can do all what you used to do, you just need to tweak it; have a salad instead of pizza, have water instead of alcohol. Exchange the crisps and candy for nuts and fruits – there are always options. And if you feel you really can’t handle it, then don’t go there until you feel strong enough.
  • Falling off the wagon: This is a biggie. We all fall off the wagon every once in a while and this does not mean that we have failed. Brush yourself off and get back on that wagon! Apologize to yourself, forgive yourself and get back on track. This does not need to be a major set-back. Talk to your “coach” and try to figure out how and why it happened. Once you understand that, you can refrain from falling into the trap again.
  • Alcohol: Not only is alcohol toxic to your system, it is also a mental trap: Even one little glass of wine or a small beer will set you in a different mind-set; the “I can handle it” mind-set. This is when you screw up big time. There is a reason why ex-drug-addicts don’t drink alcohol; not because alcohol as such is a drug to them, but because it increases (actually maximizes) the risk of falling back into old patterns. So: NO ALCOHOL, not even the tiniest sip of champagne at a wedding…
  • Planning: To make it easier on yourself and diminish the stress of changing your lifestyle you need to plan ahead. Make schedules one week at a time: Plan every meal for the week and put the schedule on the fridge. Make sure you have everything you need at home so you don’t run out. Unscheduled visits to the grocery store (especially when hungry) is the worst trap ever. You will end up buying stuff you should not eat. If you are clever you can prepare meals ahead of time to simplify your life, then you can also plan ahead for days when you know you will have less time. Plan your lunches and snacks that you bring to work and prepare them the day before. Make it as simple as possible.

In the next post I will talk about exercise and show you how you can easily incorporate it into your daily life without taking a lot of extra time or paying a fortune at the gym.

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SMALL DO-ABLE STRESS-TIPS

stressStress is around all the time in different disguises and usually we don’t even notice them until they grow into improportionate monsters that we are completely incapable of handling. At this point you need some serious help. But we can do a lot by ourselves…it doesn’t have to be expensive or take a lot of time – actually, these measures might probably save you both time and money!

Here are the stress-symptoms and what you can do to change that specific symptom, which over time will help  you to handle the stress.

  • Head-aches: Drink more water – 1 glass/hour is easy to remember. Or keep a 1/2 l. bottle with you at all times and make sure you drink 2-3 of these. Get some fresh air. Reduce your intake of coffee, try drinking water or herbal tea in your breaks. Peppermint-tea is an excellent “pick-me-up” when energy  is flagging, it can also help with head-aches and nausea. Essential oils: Either as inhalation from a tissue or by rubbing a drop mixed with some veg. oil or non-perfumed cream into your temples and the base of your skull. Keep with you essential oils of Peppermint (mentha piperita), Lemon (citrus limon), Rosemary (rosmarinus officinalis), Lemongrass (cymbopogon citratus). Citrus oils and eucalyptus or “minty” oils help to revive energy and sharpen the mind. Lavender (lavandula augustifolia) can be very helpful  with head-aches but due to its calming properties can be difficult to use in the work-place since it might relax you too much.
  • Stiffness/pain in neck, back & shoulders: Move! Pay attention to your posture, get a new chair at work which allows you to sit up straight, or get a big ball to sit on. Every hour, take 2-3 min. to exercise; shoulder-rolls, knee-bends, back-stretch, neck-stretch…Shake your body loose, go out and breath some fresh air, or open a window. Rub your neck and shoulders. Start paying attention to your body! Listen to what it tells you. stretching
  • Irritation & mood-swings: Breath. Use a short and simple breathing-exercise to get you grounded and relaxed: Sit on a chair without crossing arms or legs. Close your eyes and concentrate on your breathing; take deep breaths all the way down to your stomach. Try to make each breath as big and deep and slow as possible. Breath in on the count of 4, breath out on the count of 4 – like waves on a beach. Very quickly you will feel your breathing slowing down and your body relaxing. The tension in your head will disperse and you get more energy and balance. This will help your mood. Essential oils in the work-place: Any citrus-oil will help, Black-pepper (piper nigrum), Lavender (lavandula augustifolia) followed by a citrus or Rosemary (rosmarinus officinalis).  At home, where you do not need to stay mentally sharp you can use: Ylang-Ylang (cananga odorata), Frankincense (boswellia carterii), Cedarwood (cedrus atlantica), Geranium (pelargonium graveolens), Rose (rosa centifolia).
  • Indigestion: Check your eating-habits. If you spend a lot of time sitting still, you need less food. Eat smaller meals and avoid heavy foods such as; bread, pasta, deep-fried foods, heavy sauces, sweets and cakes. Stay clear of pre-processed foods. Fill up on salads, vegetables, lean meat, fish or chicken. Sauces based on yoghurt are fine. Drink water or green tea, nothing else. Snack throughout the day on  fruit, vegetables and nuts. After a meal, take a walk. Even 5 minutes is enough.  This way your energy-levels will stay consistent through the day, your blood-sugar won’t spike. You will not suffer from indigestion in any form (farting, burping, feeling swollen, cramps, pains…) and you won’t gain weight! Herbal teas for digestion are really useful; there are some already blended from different herbs, also good are: peppermint, fennel, cumin, rosemary. Nettel-tea and green tea is good to drink during the day .herbtea
  • Sleeping problems: Usually the problem is overload in the head; constant chatter, thoughts churning, anxiety attacks – or a mix of all these. Sleep is a habitual thing, you need to get good sleeping-habits. First of all food: Make sure you have 3 hours to digest your last meal before bed-time. Don’t drink alcohol in the evening; it might help you fall asleep, but the moment it starts breaking down in your system your sleep will be destroyed.  When your body needs to break down, or digest, it is working hard and this does not induce nor help sleep in any way. Make  your evenings calm; relax, read a book, lower the lights, take a bath, drink a calming tea such as; chamomile, hops, lavender or a pre-blended herbal tea. Stay clear from bright lights, coffee, black tea, sugary snacks, television. Get to bed early; around 10.oo pm. Create a dead-line for your working day; every evening you stop all action at say, 8 o’clock. If you are worried about forgetting things; write it down. Keep a paper and pencil by your bed and write it down as it arises, then you will, mentally, be able to let it go . Use breathing-exercises or other relaxing techniques once you are in bed. Bring a hot bottle to bed. Keep your bedroom cool and dark – use your bedroom only for sleep and love. Essential oils: Lavender (lavandula augustifolia), Ylang-Ylang (cananga odorata), Roman Chamomile (chamaemelum nobile), Marjoram (origanum majorana), Frankincense (boswellia carterii), Rose (rosa centifolia), Rosewood (aniba rosaeodora), Vetiver (vetiveria zizanoides). Use on a tissue beside your bed, in a bath before bedtime, in a diffuser during the evening.  If you keep to this habit, you will find that you start sleeping better.sleep

That’s it for today: If you have any questions or problems, please tell me and I will answer you.